Transcriptomic tool to determine European eel marine residency for use in monitoring and management (2TEM) (39780)

Project Details


The continental distribution of European eel covers Europe and North Africa, while reproduction takes place in the Sargasso Sea. The growth phase is typically assumed to be in freshwater (FW). However, otolith microchemistry has revealed alternate life histories, where some individuals skip the FW phase or change habitats between FW and saltwater (SW) during their growth phase. This remains poorly understood, because such analyses are costly and sampling lethal. So, management of this endangered species currently ignores the contingent of SW eels. Our objective is to develop a non-lethal tool based on gene expression to determine recent SW-FW life-history. This tool may also provide specific information about eel pathogen, fat and contaminant levels as well as general health status.

National Institute of Aqua Resources, DTU Aqua
Institute of Marine Research, Norway (coordinator)
University of Tartu, Estonia
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden

The project is funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers.

Research area: Fish Biology
Effective start/end date01/06/202021/05/2022


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